When I built my house in the middle of the cabbage patch about sixteen years ago (with my little hammer and nails) I decided to preserve a patch of former farm land to create a garden area. Envisioning trails and paths through tall stately trees, flowering shrubs and perennials, I set out to physically dig out certain areas to accommodate raised beds of Boxwood and Myrtle, Winterberry and Rhododendron.
The size of the Tree Garden is approximately 80 feet by maybe 40 feet. The patch was really an area behind my house and in front of the barn, where my late husband and his family had farmed for half a century before my time. The land had been part of about 12 acres on which all kinds of crops: cabbage, corn, tomatoes, cauliflower, apples, rhubarb, onions, garlic…and various other foods like herbs and lettuce.
The land was split up, with four acres or more going to the state of Ohio for a highway, selling of 13 acres to neighbors in the land-locked parcel on the other side, leaving 8 1/2 acres including our original house. When my husband died in 2000, my daughter and son-in-law bought much of the remainder … and I built a new house to the East. There is still about two acres in a vacant lot, and about an acre and a half where my house is.
So…to get back to the Tree Garden parcel. The piece was pretty much over-growing with saplings and assorted volunteer plants and shrubs. Over the years it was shaped through arbitrary pruning and removal of young trees to form sections which would be cleared and shaped into paths. I intend to include some photos with this post that more or less illustrate what I am trying to do.
For years only the youngest grandkids understood what I was trying to do back there. But as it took shape eventually my vision was better understood.
Now the basic shaping is pretty much workable, as the Maple, Oak, and various trees I am not sure of, became so tall and so big that they needed to be Pruned with a chain-saw. The paths have become clear and discernible, and garden aspects are clearer.
The tall Pampas Grass I planted back there took over, but has now died back, or rather probably the deer trampled it during winter. Originally when I set up the garden I planted some big shrubs like Hawthorne and Black Pussy Willow which flourished then died off probably because of too much shade as the trees grew.
This year (again) I plan (hope) to build an arch from maple-tree-culls cut from the paths. Also I’d like to plant some more perennials, shade ones this time, and paint some signs and plaques and stuff, paint the old bird cage hanging from a tree, resurrect the huge plaster Sun with its ray tips broken off. Hang up some of the wonderful treasures from garage sale junk boxes acquired. Use up some of the numerous plastic/silk flowers in the basement, line the paths with rocks (ha! that ain’t going to happen), and create a couple of seating places back there….which will involve mosquito control.
Big plans….more than likely I’ll spend more time on the blog talking about what I’d like to do. 🙂
Here are some photos taken in the last year or two, with examples of the assortment of critters that live in the Tree Garden and nearby, and some of the “decorations” natural and ornamental. I had to look closely to see the one cat in these photos, a white cat named “coon tail” because he has a striped tail. Peggy is one of my most photogenic outdoor cats, odd she isn’t in any of these pics, but I was choosing from thumbnails so some of the details didn’t show up.
Great topic and discussion. Thanks for the re-blog, Jason! 🙂
A divided house will fall. What is the price of choice and options? How high is that price when what we witness is nothing actually happening.
Politics in America is a unique beast. If you scroll through facebook right now you’ll probably see tons of posts on American politics, Trump, and most of those posts will be opinionated in nature. I keep hearing folks say “I’ve never seen the political climate so nasty” and I find those statements amusing. American history is short and yet so many people don’t study it other than what we are forced to learn in sixth grade American History class that we slept through. If you give the political history of the United States a real read you’ll actually find that the two “sides” decided for us have always hated one another. They’ve made accusations against each other, called the other party liars, claimed people are…
View original post 136 more words
I like this article a lot! Is there anything Writers like better than to read about Writing?
Disclaimer: This post is aimed at and addressed to you, the reader. However, whenever I say ‘you’ for the reader, it can also be construed as ‘me’, the writer, because this is why the post is written: to reassure myself that I am doing alright.
It can take (us) writers a long time to be marginally readable. There are a few who are like Gods on Earth, the ones who seem to write without effort, sitting down at their gleaming writing desks each morning, hammering out hundreds of words with scarce a pause in between and a smile on their lips. These demi Gods are a paragon of clarity and eloquence and everything that they write is lapped up by the masses and the adulating crowds… anyway, you get my point.
Then there are the mere mortals, the ordinary writers who find the writing…
View original post 946 more words
Well, Spring is on the way, I heard! We here in Northern Ohio escaped most of the big snow storm this past week, which is fine with me, but the news weather people were quite disappointed. It is always so heartening the way they put on parkas and mittens and various snow gear and wade out to the nearest snow drift to pose for the 11 o’clock news segment. There used to be an old joke about shoveling “partly cloudy” off the front walk on the morning after the prediction of sunshine and warming temperatures.
We never know what to expect here in Ohio in March, when the daffodils are raring to go, and indeed when ready the blooms just open, even there is snow up to their eyebrows. We have photos someplace of snowdrifts with daffodil flowers laying right on top of the snow.
Back in the 1940s there was a great snow fall in Cleveland. My Dad and the other men in the neighborhood waded through the waist-high snow (maybe it was thigh-high…but hey, I was a kid) to trudge along the middle of the road to the grocery store, which valiantly opened its doors to the brave men who made it through the deep snow to buy supplies for their families.
Kids all over town were ecstatic, since the school was closed. Except me…who was sick. I have written about this traumatic event in my young life before…ten years old and unable to go outside to play in what (as far as I can recall) was the most exciting event ever. I still remember standing looking out the front window as my brother proceeded to demolish the pristine white snow drifts. Even at this late date the disappointment is palpable. (I have always been a dramatic kid.)
The television news crew was stranded at the TV studio for a long time, and the exhausted and dedicated News Men were so worn out after being on camera for days (well, many hours anyway) they removed their coats and ties, which was nearly unheard of on the TV in those days. These selfless and loyal personalities stayed with their fans and watchers throughout the siege…helping the police department care for the needs of the citizens…who were desperate for milk and other life-sustaining items.
Several years later two of my girlfriends, and our boyfriends, were caught in another huge snow storm. We came out of a movie theater, to find the storm raging…and nearby was a man and woman whose car had become stuck in a snow drift. We—the boys anyway—helped the couple out of the drift, and they invited us to their house for sandwiches and a hot drink. That was nice of them, as by this time we were all frozen and starving.
To my horror, the lady served us bacon-lettuce-tomatoes (BLTs), which was something of a remarkable gesture in the middle of winter to have fresh tomatoes and lettuce. Now, lest anyone fails to understand why the BLTs would be such a bad thing to the point of being a Big Deal to Me. To that point in time I had never eaten a tomato…I hated tomatoes, and avoided them at all costs. But now…faced with a tomato sandwich…I HAD to eat it. Refusing to partake of the couple’s generosity was not possible.
So that’s how I happened to eat a tomato for the first time in my life. I think of that incident every time I see a BLT….but yes, I do eat tomatoes now, at least in sandwiches with bacon and lettuce.
Here’s an interesting tidbit about math problems. Really I fail to see what the issue is here…until I read the rest of the post and thought about the answers in the comments…which serve to sow doubt in my brain. . Assuming that the students have been taught modern equations right from the beginning of their Mathematical career, the question is quite straight-forward. The confusion appears to stem from the commenters’ adding extraneous information, or rather superfluous details, and that dealing with the question as originally presented is not that complicated. The imprecise “some people” on the train is the x-factor, and ignores or includes train workers.
Perhaps the real question here is “should first/second level students be asked this question on a test. The age-appropriateness is a matter of opinion. Adults who were more than likely taught to do math problems by the old methods may think the question is “too difficult,” but it is probably well within the capability of the affected children. Also, in my opinion, the problem must be stated exactly as written…starting with the “some people” on the train in the first place. It isn’t a trick question.
Math Test Question Stumps Parents
6- and 7-Year-Olds Couldn’t Solve This Math Test Question, and We’re Not Surprised
The internet is having a field day figuring out what the real answer is to a simple math problem. A Twitter user named Louise Bloxham shared a math problem from a Year 2 (equivalent to the first grade in the US) workbook. The tweet and account are now gone but the problem asked, “There were some people on a train. 19 people get off the train at the first stop. 17 people get on the train. Now there are 63 people on the train. How many people were on the train to begin with?”
If you try solving it yourself, you’ll probably get this setup: X – 19 + 17 = 63. All you have to do is solve for x, which gives you 65 as the answer:
But if you look further into the comments, users start arguing that the answer is 46, not 65.
Other commentators became philosophical and said that the math problem fails to factor in the train driver and inspector:
The situation apparently became too much for one person, who said that everyone was “looking at it algebraically for proof purposes,” when it was really just a simple equation.
Although the math question has stumped some parents and young children, the main concern here is not whether or not it can be solved, but if 6- and 7-year-olds should’ve been asked it. That answer to that question is simple: if there’s this much debate about it with adults, then it’s not suitable for children.
This post was originally published on May 10, 2016.
Every week we watch the TV show Blacklist, which is noted for its elaborate plots of spies, agents, good guys and extremely unlikely situations. Now there is a spin-off show, starring one of the lead characters in the original show.
Last night’s episode dealt with The Russians— new spies and situations, and one of the most frightening and far-fetched (maybe…) “plots” that were featured in the old days when the Cold War was at its height. We all knew from a very early age that The Russians were absolutely out to get us…to somehow come to the United States and take over everything. One of the most nefarious scenarios was—Sleeper Cells.
These were groups of individual Russian spies that were trained to impersonate Americans, and underwent elaborate training programs to guarantee absolute authenticity. They drove American cars, sang American songs, ate American food…even birthday cakes! They lived in mock villages built to duplicate American homes and movie theaters, schools and way of life. Then, when the training was completed, these Russians-turned-Americans would actually move to the United States to set up “sleeper cells.”
These “sleeper agents” would then establish their new identities within American towns and cities, and live among the natural citizens indefinitely…until they were “activated” to do whatever it was that they were supposed to do. Namely take over peacefully instead of resorting to violence and war.
Readers who have never before heard about the supposed sleeper-cell projects will no doubt scoff…snicker even…at the fanciful imagination of the Cold War Kids. On the other hand, those in the “know” will experience the old familiar shiver up the spine at the mention of being taken over by enemy agents. Like the old monster movies where the bugs grew to monstrous sizes and proceeded to devour us—unlikely but still scary.
This whole idea used to be reoccurring in movies, novels…even newspaper articles. It became almost like Science Fiction…associated with the similar flicks featuring alien hordes that arrived from outer space in space ships instead of in metal ships or railroad cars.
Apparently we are about to enter another era where we live in nervous laughter at ourselves as we encounter terrible scenarios, worrying about new neighbors moving in next door… gosh, they LOOK normal! Let’s take them a tuna fish casserole and see if they are surprised…
Well, I’m not about to judge anyone. I lived through this stuff before, and will probably survive it again. I have always wondered about Russians. If they were to simulate the American-way-of-life, what in the world was their own life like? It used to be our own government that went out of its way to scare the citizenry with tales about being infiltrated by “them”…the Russians. What if they actually wanted us all to become Russians…would we get to participate in world domination?
a little warning
so early in the morning
could save the shocking
cold grip on my poor heart strings
Oh no! the cry was at the realization …
they had changed the way to post…
Last month I got a new computer, printer, and camera. Yesterday the monitor had to go back to the store because the brightness control didn’t work. I have had computers since 1983, and the first thing I ever did when setting them up for use was to adjust the brightness of the screen. The manufacturers insist upon having white backgrounds on much of the content, but there was always the option to turn down the brightness by using the control button.
So in a search for the control that I knew had to be there, finally found the controls, and set out to change the brightness. So I went online and asked google how to change the brightness. Easy…they told me…giving detailed instructions. Nope. Then checked the discussion pages….the people who say stuff about their frustrating experiences with their new computers. In a nutshell, they followed the instructions, to no avail…gave up.
After convincing myself that the brightness control on my monitor did not work, I turned to my second plan of attack—the first being to solve the problem myself—which involved asking my daughter, who is something of a computer guru, to look at it and tell me what I was doing wrong. She arrived, and conducted a search of her own, trying all the tried and true tricks that a neophyte like me would not know.
Finally, daughter arrived at the point where I had given up and her opinion was that the control system was not working. So, we went off to BestBuy, where the GeekSquad woman ran the monitor through its paces and arrived at exactly the same conclusion that we had reached—the thing did not work!
All ended well though—I paid an extra $30.00 and got a new monitor. It’s about an inch larger screen than the one it replaces. The brightness control works…and the controls themselves can be manipulated easily and efficiently without standing on my head to find the control board.
Now…I am having a problem getting the CD with the instruction booklet for the monitor to download. I know the CD drive works because I tested it last week. But this won’t be a major issue, because I DO know enough German to read the on-screen directions if I need to make other adjustments. Sprechen zie kleine bissel deutsch, so I’ll manage until I have the wits to adjust the language.
My grandmother Lillian always kept a jar of teaspoons on the kitchen table, along with other appurtenances to the daily serving of tea. As a little kid I was allowed to drink tea only in a weakened version, with plenty of milk and sugar. We usually had cookies of some sort…biscuits as my UK friends might say…and on occasion the most luscious cheesecake ever baked! The cheesecake came from the bakery on the corner of the street, from which most of the bread we consumed originated. More accurately the delicacy was a cheese kuchen, baked inside a kuchen-like crust. ooooh…
My great-grandmother had arrived from England when she was ten years old, along with her parents and siblings. It was she, Ann, who had continued the custom of “Tea” as served by her own mother, Mary. One of the special tea guests was a woman called “Aunt Frank” which was always a great source of amusement to me (and to my Dad, who had grown up in this household.) Her name was Frances, and she was my grandmother’s sister-in-law, Uncle Will’s widow.
Ann lived to be 93…a remarkably advanced age in those days of the 1930s. When I knew her she had already retired from her active church life, and the long history of women’s causes…especially the WCTU, Women’s Christian Temperance Union. The WCTU was the famous Carrie Nation’s organization, which on occasion had experienced members with axes attacking the bars and terrorizing drinkers.
At the time I was three years old, so my memories are dim and certainly embroidered with endless tales related over the subsequent years by relatives. So every time I think of Tea, or England, or yummy Cheese Kuchen…I think of Great Grandma Ann and Gram Lillian, and the glass jar with the tea spoons.
OK….I admit it…I’m scared!
There are people that I know very well, family members, friends, acquaintenaces from various times of my life who snicker or sneer at my fears. They say I am of the “old school”—the “Cold War era”—afraid of bogies and ghosts of the past, as gifted us from the best selling authors of Spy Fiction. You know—Tom Clancey et al.
I have been told in so many words that the old Cold War politics are passé. I have been told, that being an old woman— one having studied matters of the World, and especially the United States, of which I am an informed citizen and Historian—my views are left over from the bad old days when Russia was not our friend.
In the recent past I have been accused of “hating” my country. WRONG…as our new president elect would say. I have always likened this theory of…
View original post 215 more words